AutoGuide News Blog
The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
Factory Built Off-Road Machines Battle for Your Love
We are back with this week’s installment of AutoGuide’s newest, interactive weekly feature “Commute, Toy or Destroy.”
Ford took a bit of a gamble, putting in a fuel efficient V6 into their full-size F-150 pickup but now that the EcoBoost-powered truck has sold 100,000 this year, we’re pretty sure Ford execs are content with their decision.
It’s been over 25 years since Ford has sold that many V6-powered pickups in one year, with 40-percent of the buyers opting to pay the extra $895 for the turbocharged EcoBoost 3.5L V6 rather than the conventional 3.7L V6. More than half of all the trucks sold by Ford have been an F-150 V6.
The EcoBoost V6 sports 365-hp and 420 lb-ft of torque, while the non-turbocharged 3.7L has 302-hp. The V8 offerings have 360-hp and 411-hp from a 5.0L and 6.2L respectively.
[Source: Detroit News]
Addictive Desert Design is teaming up with JPM Coachworks to build a one-of-a-kind Luxury Performance Ford Raptor for this year’s SEMA Show. Starting with a 2011 Raptor SVT SuperCrew, the team revamped the sport truck from bumper to bumper, with a collection of some of the industry’s finest products available for the Raptor.
The first stop for the Raptor SVT was nowhere else but Hennessey Performance where the SVT was outfitted with their VelociRaptor 600 SC package, giving the truck 605-hp thanks to a supercharger. From there, it headed down to JPM Coachworks where the interior was completely redone with Royal Hides from Edelman Leather and Alcantara. Next, it headed over to High Desert Mobile where it received a complete audio upgrade featuring products from Mosconi, Blackhole, Chasecam, Visualogic and Tsunami.
The now-heavily modified Raptor was then shipped to Addictive Desert Designs where it received front and rear bumpers from Stealth, LED lighting from Rigid, rock guards, King Shocks coilover shocks, Fuel Hostage wheels with Goodyear MTR Kevlar tires. Braking upgrades come from Baer Brakes with their Extreme Plus Calipers and 15-inch rotors.
Bodywork enhancements were done over at Hi Tech Collission where some custom touches were added. Spintech Muffler then added a one-off true dual exhaust system while the bed, wheel-wells, underside and bottom 12-inches of the body were coated by Line-X.
Affliction Clothing will be holding a contest to name the finished Raptor SVT project and participants interested in contributing some suggestions will have a chance to win some prizes.
[Source: Truck Trend]
Ford ventured into dangerous territory five years ago, when they considered switching out the traditional V8 for a V6 powerplant. The two biggest issues surrounding the change was whether the V6 would have enough power, and whether the engine would be durable enough to compete with big boy V8′s. Doug Scott, manager of Ford’s truck marketing group said, “We knew there’s no replacement for displacement. That’s a very popular saying among full-sized pickup customers, which just shows their love for the V8 engine. We knew we had a marketing challenge”.
The Ford leaders approved the plan in 2006 to begin developing an EcoBoost engine that would be suitable for the F-150. The Ford engineers were eager to build a V6 engine that could top a V8 in performance, durability and fuel economy. Ford’s chief engineer of the F-150 at the time was Eric Kuehn, who recals making many of the engine parts by hand. After months of trial and error testing, Ford put together a high-performance turbocharged EcoBoost V6 that had an immense amount of power, torque and would return very good fuel economy. The EcoBoost V6 produces 365-hp and 420 lb-ft of torque with a maximum payload of 3,060 lbs. The pickup also achieves 16 mpg city and 22 mpg highway.
Ford had amazing initial success selling the F-150 EcoBoost and in May, June and July and the sales have only increased. The American automaker sold forty-one percent of its F-150′s with the EcoBoost engine and 15 percent of the trucks were sold with the base 3.7-liter V6, according to Ford.
Two things have helped Ford’s V6 gain ground this year, analysts say. One was the spoke this spring in fuel prices to $4 a gallon. The other was Ford’s success in building consumer recognition of the EcoBoost name, according to J.D Powers.
Martin Gubbels, owner of Big Sky Ford-Lincoln in Torrington, Wyoming stated that he has become a believer in the EcoBoost engine. “A redneck will buy an EcoBoost when they’re told by a knowledgeable salespoerson that this thing has more horesepower, torque and better fuel economy than a V8. They’ll buy it.”
[Source: Automotive News]
The Ford F-150 Harley-Davidson has been updated for 2012 with a new look and added features. On the outside, new design enhancements include unique bodyside graphics, 22-inch machined-aluminum wheels and a new exterior color choice – White Platinum Tri-Coat. The truck also features a bold front fascia and six-bar billet-style bright chrome grill.
On the inside, Ford is proud to offer new snakeskin leather interior accenting, a voice-activated navigation system, a 4.2 inch-productivity screen, power sunroof and remote starter system. The screen will offer information from fuel economy to towing performance.
Powering this machine is Ford’s 6.2-liter V8 engine with 411-hp and 434 lb-ft of torque, which provides a maximum trailer towing capability of 7,500 pounds.
Intended to be a high end truck, the F-150 offers impressive options including a rear view camera, second-row heated seats, power adjustable performance pedals, power deployable running boards and more.
GALLERY: 2012 Harley-Davidson F-150
Production will end for the Ford Ranger on December 22, according to the United Auto Workers 879 June-August newsletter. The Ranger is currently built in Ford’s Twin Cities assembly plant and the truck has been built since January 1982.
The Ranger originally replaced the Ford Courier which was based on the Mazda B-Series small truck. The Ranger was built to work hard, achieve decent gas mileage and compete against small Japanese and American trucks like the Datsun, Toyota and Chevrolet pickups. So far, more than 7 million Ranger trucks have been built since first produced.
Ford has yet to announce a replacement for the Ranger. So far the F-150 has a new 3.7-liter V6 that is most comparable to the outgoing vehicle. However, an all-new Ford Ranger goes on sale later this year for markets outside of North America.
[Source: Pickup Trucks]
Even with skyrocketing fuel prices, subcompacts are selling less than their compact counterparts. The Ford Fiesta was the overall leader in the subcompact department, 9,147 sales but still trailed the larger Focus’ 17,265 total sales. Honda Civic sales rose 7% to 26,777 which is more than triple the Fit’s total of 8,116 units in April. Furthermore, the mid-size Accord even managed to outsell the Civic.
The issue seems to be one of value for more consumers. Subcompacts are barely more efficient than compacts. The base model Civic coupe costs only $505 more than a basic Fit, but the mileage difference is minuscule.
With the ongoing price battle at the pumps, it wouldn’t be surprising to see models like the Fiesta, Accent or Fiesta to rival the Toyota Camry or Ford F150 in sales. Soon enough we may see subcompacts catching up to regularly sized cars and without a doubt, your wallet will thank you the next time you fill up.
[Source: Kicking Tires]
The Ferrari-Ford rivalry is back on! Just in case it was possible to confuse America’s best-selling pickup truck with Ferrari’s newest F1 car, the Prancing Horse has chosen to spell it out painfully and slowly for the rest of us. The two companies have come to an agreement over the name F150, which Ferrari sought for their newest F1 entry.
Ford objected to this, filing a lawsuit and disputing Ferrari’s similar logo. In response, Ferrari added a “th” to the end of the name, for “Ferrari F150th Italia,” in honor of the 150th anniversary of Italy’s unification. Ford was ok with this—after all, the 150th anniversary of Italian unification only comes around once.
But Ferrari wasn’t pleased enough at this frankly crass comparison between their almighty racing team and a mere blue-collar work truck! So they tweaked the name further, just to be sure—and the 2011 Ferrari Formula 1 racing car is now known as the “Ferrari F150° Italia.” The symbol is the Italian representation of the “th” suffix, a further change from the name that Ford agreed with, and gives the Ferrari car even more Italian-ness than an entire Olive Garden parking lot of Raptors.
And just to drive the point home, Ferrari issued a sardonic press release labeling the situation “Kafkaesque” and applauding the prevailing of common sense, “order to avoid the slightest risk of anyone confusing a Formula 1 car with a pick-up truck…which should make it clear even to the thickest of people.” Just in case, you know, you do forget.
No word on whether Ford will hire Carroll Shelby to vanquish the ghost of Enzo Ferrari behind the wheel of a Lariat, or if Ferrari will introduce a special Harley-Davidson Edition with a “man step” in the tailgate. What would Hank the Deuce do?
What do you get when you take a Formula Drift champion, a video camera, and a website editor that has no fear? Apparently the video that’s available after the jump. Wrecked Magazine teamed up with Vaughn Gittin Jr. out in Las Vegas with a Ford F150 SVT Raptor to reach all new heights – recording it, of course, to share with the rest of the world.
Knowing just how bold of a driver Gittin is, handing him the keys of an F150 SVT Raptor and access to the CORR Truck Track at Las Vegas Speedway, most of us could conjure up the result in our minds. And absolutely nothing less than what’s expected is what’s seen on the video.
As far as Wrecked Magazine is considered, they may have filmed the highest jump an SVT Raptor has ever made in stock form. Despite all of the work and abuse the truck took at the track, they drove it home safely from Las Vegas to Los Angeles, a great testament to just how tough Ford tough is.
Check out the video after the break.
[Source: Wrecked Magazine]